With most conference-related attention being sucked into Geneva, another meeting just finished up its work not too far away, in Treviso, Italy. While (fortunately) lacking the histrionics of a Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the G8 “agriculture summit” is tackling a problem even more urgent: global food insecurity. In the words of Director-General Jacques Diouf of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, one of multiple UN food agencies invited to the meeting:
“In order to feed the nearly one billion hungry people and provide for the extra three billion people coming into the world by the year 2050, the world needs political leadership and well invested resources…World leaders looking for ways to save the global economy from disaster and to create jobs and income for millions of people in rural areas would be well advised to invest heavily in agriculture.”
The summit may not have achieved all that advocates for the world’s poor could have hoped for, but it seems that the G8’s farm ministers recognize the imperative identified by Diouf. But — and no offense to farm ministers here — this is an issue whose weight merits attention by G8 ministers themselves at their next gathering.